Excel Spreadsheet Blog

Relative and Absolute References

One of the great attractions of spreadsheets when they started was their ability to quickly replicate complex calculations, once those calculations had been developed for …

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Conditional formatting – Hierarchy

In 2003, the hierarchy is very important in Conditional Formatting: if you have that wrong some conditions may never be tested. Supposing you want the …

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IF statements – multiple levels

IF statements really bring power to your spreadsheets. And multiple IFs, even more so. Before 2007, the limit was 7 nested IFs in one statement. …

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Clarity beats prettiness

You’re looking to produce an impressive report or set of charts from Excel, but don’t forget that a good-looking chart or report is meaningless if …

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Conditional Formatting: highlight items automatically

Conditional Formatting changes the font, border or colour of a cell depending on the criteria you have chosen. For example you might set a cell …

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Automatic Date and Time in Excel

If you want to put today’s date into your spreadsheet, then use =today(). But remember this is dynamic, which means it will change. Thus it’s …

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Make phone numbers easier to read AND more useful to Excel

Put gaps or hyphens into telephone numbers, otherwise Excel thinks they are ordinary numbers, and removes the first zero. Gaps also make it easier for …

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The Σ (Sum) button in Excel

When using Sum (Σ) in Excel, it tries to guess what you want to add. This is shown by the ‘marching ants’ around the cells. …

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Don't be sloppy when entering information

Well-structured information is the key to making the most of Excel. Each different data type should appear in its own column. Generally, it’s best to …

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Date formats – don't waste valuable information!

Don’t enter dates with full stops (eg 10.11.13) because Excel doesn’t store them as dates, meaning a lot of useful information is unavailable. Instead, use …

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